January 5, 2009

Featured Feminist: Jacquie O'Godless

Jacquie O’Godless is an atheist, feminist, queer living in Los Angeles. She is a passionate activist heavily involved in politics and has spent time working on and off as a writer for local campaigns. She currently blogs for The Daily Profaner, a news blog for the godless and irreligious.

My click moment: My true understanding of feminism came after ending my monogamous relationship of four years. At this time, I came to understand the connection between hetero-normative society, patriarchal oppression and monogamy as the contractual ownership of another person. Since then, I have been a passionate advocate of polyamory as a feminist practice.

Favorite reading material: The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, Valencia by Michelle Tea, Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, Written on the Body by Jeannette Winterson and My Revolting Life by Penny Rimbaud.

Feminist Icon: Simone de Beauvior

Personal role model: Kathleen Hanna

My issues/concerns: Atheist visibility, exposing the relationship between judeo-christian religion and patriarchy, destroying class privilege and hetero-normative society, dissecting gender, and fighting for equal status for feminist men within the movement.

Favorite quote: “…the most intense pleasures occur in deep despair…” Fyodor Dostoevsky

November 6, 2008

Featured Feminist: Nita Rubio

Nita Rubio was born and raised in Southern California in a liberal household. Nonetheless, women’s rights, women’s studies, and  female empowerment were not things inherently included in this liberalism. Luckily, spirituality and creativity were highly regarded and served as the pathway for self-discovery and deep personal inquiry. At the age of 18, Nita began to read authors such as Carol Christ, Luisah Tesh, Riane Eisler and more. This impacted her deeply and it was incredibly exciting to know of these women who viewed the personal as political and that even the paradigm of patriarchy needed to be extracted from our spiritual beliefs. Following this new way of perceiving her walk in the world, Nita was formally ordained as a Priestess through Woman Mysteries of the Ancient-Future Sisterhood. Although this mystery school teaches many
spiritual arts, its rare inclusion is that of the need for its Priestess’s to fully explore the extent of misogyny held deeply in the feminine body. Nita has been teaching the core work of the lineage, The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power for the last 13 years. At this time, Nita is passionate about learning and teaching the matriarchal and tribal roots of Tantra and helping women to explore the depths of power viscerally held in their bodies.

My “click” moment: At the age of 17 or 18 I was in a deeply rebellious mode and was down in Mexico with friends and boyfriend. Lots of partying, fun and frolicking. A girlfriend and I had walked to the car to get more beers and were approached by two other guys asking for some beer (but, of course, really looking to pick us up.) Our response of “no” was repeatedly ignored again and again. It got tiresome and irritating as the intensity of the requests increased. Finally I blurted out “We have boyfriends” and those seemed to be the magic words for those guys to leave us in peace.  We returned to the party but I couldn’t engage. I felt uneasy and disturbed by the interaction. About 15 minutes later the answer to my uneasiness came in like a lightning bolt. We had to belong to other men to be left alone. Our simple “no” had not been good enough. I felt sick. And awake all of a sudden. Just after that I read The Women’s Room by Marilyn French which profoundly affected me.

Favorite reading materials: The Great Cosmic Mother by Monica Sjoo, Shakti Woman by Vicki Noble, Passionate Enlightenment by Miranda Shaw and The Women’s Room by Marilyn French.

Feminist icon: Gloria Steinem

Personal role model: All women who have taken the risk of personal loss to no longer compromise the calling of their Spirit.

My issues/concerns: That women don’t know what they don’t know. I am concerned that women’s studies (at least when I went to school) are an elective. I am concerned about the height and frenzy of the media and celebrity that contributes to the disassociation of our bodies and our own internal desires. I am concerned that women are still slaves all over the world and that this seems to be acceptable.

Websites:

www.embodyshakti.typepad.com
www.embodyshakti.com
www.greatgoddess.org

Favorite quote: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

October 24, 2008

Featured Feminist: Justine Serebrin

Justine Serebrin is an artist of many mediums specializing in Body Art. She uses the human spirit and form as the guiding force behind her work. Individuals inevitably carry so much diversity in their body alone, that it allows each painting to evolve in an organic and unique order. The magic of Body Art, for Justine, lies in the kaleidoscopic nature of human beings.

Justine attended Otis College of Art and Design, and shortly after she received her BFA, she completed the Professional Make-Up program at the Cinema Make-Up School. She quickly transformed the art of body painting into a performance piece, which she then performed at many events and galleries in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area.

She is currently interested in collaborating with photographers who are interested in pushing the limits of body art and taking it to a much more fascinating level.”

My “click” moment: During my 1st woman’s studies class I realized that I had been a feminist all of my life and from there everything from there seemed to just snap into place. My life, my art, my sexuality all fell into place.

Favorite reading materials: Bell Hooks – Communion: The Female Search for Love, Vitamin D – -New Perspectives in Drawing, Wanderground, Stories of the hill women by Sally Miller Gearhart, Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries, by Ruth Barret, Magazines – Art Forum, The Coagula, books on artists, Internet interviews with different artists.

Feminist icon: Angie Evans, musician and my lover

Personal role model
: Doreen Virtue, PhD. and Kari Barba, tattoo artist and owner of Outer Limits Tattoo Shop.

My issues/concerns:
We live in a world dominated by men, duh! It’s time that there were more women only or women focused places, such as tattoo shops, art galleries, bars, gas stations, etc. I feel it is important for women to really feel their power in a separate space, away from men, at least temporarily. I have felt it and have realized the need for it in many places.

Projects:
1) I am working on getting a formal tattoo apprenticeship to helping women to design unique, meaningful tattoos and create a ceremonial ritual space for them to be tattooed within.
2) Photographing feminine masculinity…. more coming soon.
3) A new body of work, paintings/drawings having to do with imagination, sexuality and making babies!

Websites:

Body Art: http://www.justineartist.com
Fine Art: http://ospace.otis.edu/justine/Welcome

Favorite quote:“And there came a time when the risk of remaining closed tight in a bud far outweighed the risk it took to bloom.” ~Anis Nin

October 17, 2008

Featured Feminist: Donna Pattee-Ballard

Donna R. Pattee-Ballard is a working artist, photography instructor, and feminist. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ball State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Donna has been an exhibiting and working artist since 1991. She has created and shown four major bodies of work: Abandonment 1992-1994, Becoming 1995-1996, Uninvited 1996-1997 and the Sacred Feminine 2005-2007. She has displayed her work in many exhibitions and is a lecturer on the nature of feminism, gender socialization, and the role of the artist in the modern world. She is currently an instructor at the College of the Canyons, Department of Photography in Santa Clarita, California.

My click moment: I grew up in Indiana and although I had heard of feminism, I didn’t really know what it was about. When I finally left the Midwest and moved to Las Vegas for my MFA studies, it was culture shock for me. I was lost and really didn’t know who I was until I read a novel by Marilyn French called “The Women’s Room.” Then I suddenly found myself angry about what my family in Indiana expected me to be and how I as a woman was represented in “Sin City.” I now realize that I grew up in Las Vegas not Indiana.

Favorite reading material: Novels with strong female characters and travel novels.

Feminist Icons: I don’t have just one! Artist Mary Beth Edelson, Faith Ringgold, Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Betye Saar, Hannah Wilke, Jenny Holzer, and Barbara Kruger.

Personal role model: My best friend Darlene Kaczmarczyk. She is a fellow feminist artist and has inspired me a great deal.

My issues/concerns: Sarah Palin- do the republicans really think we are stupid enough to vote for a woman just because she’s a woman?!!! I’m insulted!

Favorite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Marianne Williamson

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